Sofapaka ate a humble pie on Saturday, falling 2-1 to hosts AFC Leopards in a Kenyan Premier League (KPL) match at Mumias Sports Complex.
Elvis Rupia’s brace was enough to seal the hard fought win for the home team, the visitors netting a consolation through Jedinack Ameyaw Nana in stoppage time.
Sofapaka pulled out the first goalmouth scare in the fifth minute of the entertaining match after Ugandan Brian Kayanja’s rasping shot was parried away by Leopards custodian Benjamin Ochan. Kilume had picked out Elly Asieche with a beautiful pass, Asieche in turn laying off ball to Kayanja who squandered the golden opportunity.
Leopards soon made inroads at the opposite end when Kipyegon made a dash down the channel before feeding Rupia who delivered a cross in the penalty area, only for Sofapaka’s Stephen Otieno to emerge in the nick of time to scuttle the effort.
It was Sofapaka causing trouble for Leopards once again only moments later, Kilume picking up a loose ball from Tera after forcing him into an error to set Nana through whose effort was frustrated by an impressive Ochan in goal.
Leopards responded with a quick break when Titus Achesa was dispossessed by Kamura who lobbed a long pass over to Rupia, but the forward’s delivery into the box went begging with no one in position to connect it into the gaping net.
Leopards opened the scoring in the second half when Rupia converted from the spot to beat Richard Aimo after Willis Obayi handled the ball inside the box.
Rupia was on target again, proving to be the day’s hero and probably man of the match, after he pounced on a loose ball to loop over an advancing Aimo.
Sofapaka’s efforts were rewarded at the eleventh hour, albeit late, when Jedinak Ameyaw took advantage of a poorly cleared ball to pull one back.